“FOR NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD”
“BA WATA FADAR ALLAH DA ZATA KASA CIKA”
The Bishop’s coat of Arm or Logo is symbolic and reflects the Bishop’s Episcopal vision and pastoral plans. The different features that appeared in the logo reflect what he believes and stands for as he prepares to begin his arduous ministry of leadership and administration.
The appointment of Monsignor Bulus Dauwa Yohanna by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI is a historic event and carries a corresponding challenge. His motto taken from the gospel of St. Luke 1:37 say it all: “For nothing will be impossible with God”.
THE GREEN BACKGROUND COLOUR: It represents Kontagora Vicariate which occupies some parts of Niger and Kebbi States of the North – West of Nigeria. It is peculiar because of the abundance of both human and natural resources waiting to be tapped and explored. The green vegetation apart from its agricultural importance also signifies a fertile area for primary evangelization among the local people who are now riped for the gospel message. This is one of the challenges then new Bishop has to face by making sure that the gospel is made available to all the people.
THE HANDSHAKE: The handshake signifies fellowship, unity, peace and reconciliation and above all love among people, which goes beyond tribal, ethnic, religious, political and even regional interest. The Bishop as the chief shepherd of the flock of God is the heart of this unity. Therefore, the work of proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ in the Vicariate of Kontagora calls for unity among the workers and their collaborators in the vineyard. After all, united we stand divided we fall. Hence, all hands must be on deck “For nothing will be impossible with God”.
THE WATER FALL: This represents the Niger River which cuts across Kontagora Vicariate and divides into two. Water is life, and where there is no water there is no life. Besides the foundation of sustaining life in general by water, the water of Baptism by which we are incorporated into Christ binds and unites us together as members of the same family sharing our lives together. Through the sacramental ministry of the Bishop the lives of the faithful are nurtured and nourished. Baptismal water binds us together more as one family than any other relationship or affiliation.
THE LIGHTED CANDLE: The lighted candle signifies the light and the presence of Christ. Those who follow Christ will never walk in the dark. The Bishop with his close collaborators has the responsibility of bringing the light of Christ to all the nooks and corners of the Vicariate especially where they have not heard of Christ. Primary evangelization essentially means bringing the good news of Christ to the communities that have not heard of Him. This is one of the big challenges that await the new Bishop.
THE BIBLE: The word of God and the Eucharist are very central in the life of a Christian. Through the Bible God speaks to us and strengthens our faith. The good news of Christ that the people of the Vicariate have been longing to hear is contained in the Holy Bible. One of the duties of the Bishop is to teach and preach the good news of Christ to the faithful.
THE LARGE CROSS: The large cross that serves as the pillar of the logo indicates the great responsibility to which the new Bishop is called. Under the shade of the cross lie the glory of Christ and the success of the Bishop, his collaborators and indeed the entire Vicariate. “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF KONTAGORA
The first missionaries to settle in Kontagora area were the SMA Fathers. Fr. Martin McDonnell, SMA took up residence in Masuga (8km from Kontagora) in 1937. From Masuga they developed an outstation at Zuru; and in 1952 the first priest (Fr. Danny Watson SMA) settled there. In 1962 the SMA Fathers withdrew and handed over care for these stations to the priests of St. Patrick’s Missionary Society. Fr. Jim Noonan, SPS then took care of the growth and development of the Church until the return of the SMA Fathers in the mid-nineties.
On 27th December, 1995, the Apostolic Prefecture of Kontagora was established by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, with Monsignor Timothy J. Carroll, SMA, as its first Prefect Apostolic and was installed on 16th March, 1996. The Prefecture was carved out of three existing dioceses namely: Ilorin, Minna, and Sokoto in the North Western part of Nigeria. The size of the area is about 46,000km2 and the main ethnic groups in the area are: Kambari, Dakarkari, Dukkawa, Fulani, Busawa, Kamukuwa, Hausawa and a number of smaller groups. The majority of the people are peasant farmers using crude implements. They are so impoverished that they can hardly afford their livelihood with an existing high level of illiteracy.
On 21st May, 2002 the Holy Father announced the elevation of Kontagora Prefecture to the status of an Apostolic Vicariate. He appointed Msgr. Timothy J. Carroll SMA, as the first Vicar Apostolic of Kontagora and Titular bishop of Tipasa in Mauritania.
Towards the end of the first decade of the new millennium, the Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Timothy J. Carroll, SMA experienced failing health which resulted in his resignation from active ministry. In April, 2010, Very Rev. Fr. Dan McCauley, SMA was immediately appointed by the Holy See as Apostolic Administrator. On 2nd February, 2012 Most Rev. Bulus DauwaYohanna was appointed by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, as the new Vicar Apostolic of Kontagora and Titular Bishop of Scebatiana in Tunisia. He was Ordained and installed on Thursday 3rd May, 2012 at St. Michael’s Catholic Cathedral, Kontagora.
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, on 2nd April, 2020, elevated the Apostolic Vicariate of Kontagora to the level of diocese and appointed His Lordship, Most Rev. Bulus DauwaYohanna as the first Bishop of the Diocese.
Much work has been done all these years. Presently, there are nineteen parishes and over a thousand outstation churches in the Diocese. There are eight convents, ten Catholic Nursery/Primary Schools, four Secondary Schools, a Catechetical Training Centre at Masuga for the training of lay leaders and catechists and three clinics at Papiri, Kwimo, Tungan-Gero and one hospital at Dabai.